Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment

E. Murer, I. Sisák, A. Baumgarten and P. Strauss:

Assessing subsoil compaction on arable land in the alpine forelands of Austria


The objective of this study was to assess the subsoil compaction in the Austrian region of Alpenvorland. According to data provided by the Austrian Soil Mapping, the precompression stress value was estimated. At 30 representative sites with management-influenced compaction and long-term participation in the agro-environmental program ÖPUL, soil structure was assessed (good, poor, critical) according to the threshold values of air capacity and saturated hydraulic conductivity. Beneath the plough layer, the subsoil is in critical condition at approximately 30% and in poor condition at 25% of the investigated sites. Statistical analysis showed a significant increase of penetration resistance and subsoil compaction on headland as compared to other parts of the investigated fields. This study confirms the wide range of penetration resistance variability and its dependence on the water and clay content. Without precise knowledge of these frame conditions, penetration resistance should therefore be regarded as less meaningful.

Key words: arable land, subsoil compaction, precompression stress value, penetration resistance, Alpenvorland.